ENVIRONMENT

Businesses still in limbo eight months after Akosombo Dam Spillage, victims demand compensation
Eight months after the Volta River Authority's (VRA) water spill from the Akosombo Dam, most businesses in the South Tongu District of the Volta Region remain in a state of uncertainty.

Date Created : 5/24/2024 12:00:00 AM : Story Author : Kekeli K. Blamey/Ghanadistricts.com

The spillage, which led to devastating floods, has left many business owners struggling to survive and calling for urgent government intervention and compensation.

Despite advocacy efforts and appeals from the affected residents, tangible support from the government has been slow to materialize.

Hotels and many recreational businesses along the Volta Lake, which were also heavily affected by the spillage, are yet to economically bounce back.

About 1,000 Small Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in Tefle, Vume, Sogakope North, Alikekope, Sokpoe, Tadze, Agordomi, Tadame, Anaosukope and other areas such as Comboni Technical School, were badly impacted.

Also, Eight Fish Farms namely Dongazi Fish Farm, Decko Fishpond, Best Fish Farm, Flosell Fish Farm, Eagle Farms, Gedza Farms, Dordor Farms, Reinbees Farms, which went under, were yet to rebounce and be compensated.

Mr. Tsekpo Augustine, a fashion designer, felt abandoned and desperate for assistance.

"We have been left in limbo for months. Every day, we struggle to make ends meet while waiting for the promised aid that never seems to come," he lamented.

Mr. Tsekpo indicated that the government's assurance of comprehensive compensation packages had brought some hope, but the inability to allocate and disburse the fund has left them very skeptical.

He pleaded for the government's urgent action and added that the delay is causing more harm each day.

Similarly, Mr. Isaac Dzivenu, a food vendor, has been grappling with significant financial losses since the flood ravaged his restaurant.

He emphasized the dire need for government compensation to restart his business. "I lost everything to the flood. We've been appealing for help, but so far, there's been no real action. We can't rebuild our lives without support," Mr Dzivenu stressed.

Mrs. Effah Joan, who operates a cold store, voiced her frustration over the prolonged delay in receiving aid.

She mentioned that several promises came from the VRA and the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) but they were yet to be realized.

Mrs Effah stated that her businesses were dying, and without immediate compensation from the government, she may not recover.

The Managing Director of Flosell farms, Mr. Evans Danso explained how the disaster had affected his business.

He said that he lost about GHC 6.4 million in revenue during the spillage and wondered how much support would come from the government.

He described their situation as a grave one and appealed ‘cash push’ to relaunch their businesses in the area.

Some community leaders and local authorities are urging the government to speed up delivering financial aid to the flood victims.

They highlighted the critical need for immediate intervention to prevent further economic collapse in the district.

As set out in the 2024 budget, the Government has set aside two hundred and twenty million cedis (GH¢220 million), of which GH¢80 million has already been released by the Ministry of Finance, to support the ongoing rehabilitation efforts for the affected communities.

But the residents are concerned about the government's urgent effort to revive their lost businesses.